Words from the Wise: Playoff lottery is just the start

The football play-offs are known for throwing up some big upsets, so don't bet your house on who will meet at Ford Field.

ford field football 88 (photo credit: )
ford field football 88
(photo credit: )
This time of the year means football playoffs. There are 12 teams remaining in the race but over the course of 10 matches the field be whittled down to two. From there the Super Bowl will decide who is the championship team. And they indeed will be a championship team. That is the only way to describe a team who has won three/four cut-throat sudden death matches. Some of these games are going to be played in weather so cold the ball will feel like a giant piece of ice. Some of the games are going to be played in a stadium so noisy you will not be able to hear yourself think. The play-offs are known for throwing up some big upsets so unless you have a sturdy crystal ball and some tea leaves you swear by, predicting who the two teams who will meet at Ford Field, Detroit on February 5 is not something you would want to bet your house on. There are many unknown variables which will decide the matches but what do we do know? We know that the two time defending champion New England Patriots are hitting their straps at the right time of the season. After a shaky 4-4 start where they were beset by injuries they were able to regroup and led by the unflappable Tom Brady were able to win four of their last five games. They are a danger team and no one wants to face them, least of all the Jacksonville Jaguars who are their first up opponents. The Jags had an excellent 12-4 season which was the second best record in the AFC. It was only bettered by the 14-2 of the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts will be a lot better for dropping a couple of games late in the season. If they were undefeated entering the play-offs the pressure could be unbearable. What hasn't helped their caused has been injuries and then the horrible death of coach, Tony Dungy's son. Last year it seems as though the Colts were only interested in breaking records. This year they have that glint in their eye which suggests they will only be satisfied with a Super Bowl ring. Emerging from the tough est division in football, the Denver Broncos had a sensational year. Since winning back to back Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999, the franchise has struggled and has lost all three of its play-off games since. For their fine efforts, the Broncos receive a first round bye. They could potentially meet the winner of the Pitts burgh Steelers - Cincinnati Bengals match in the divisional play-offs. This Wild Card fixture promises to be a beauty. The two long time rivals will love nothing better then ending the other‚s season. The Steelers have wobbled but limped into the play-offs while the Bengals were more assured of their first play-off appearance since 1991. On the NFC side of the draw the competition doesn't‚t appear to be as fierce. The Washington Redskins meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in one Wild Card game and the New York Giants face off against the Carolina Panthers in the other. The higher ranked of those winner will go on to play the rejuvenated Chicago Bears. The Bears appear to be too strong for either of these teams and with home-field advantage should make it through to their first Conference Championship game since 1989. The lower ranked wild card winner will meet the Seattle Seahawks. On form, you would fancy the Seahawks against whoever they are scheduled to meet but then again this is the Seahawks we are talking about The same Seahawks who haven't won a play-off game since 1984 and are only one of four teams in the league along with the Saints, Jaguars and Texans who have never appeared in a Super Bowl or its precursor, NFL Championship Game. Should be one hell of a month! dwisemanaway@hotmail.com